Holidays

 

VIDEO How To: Hamantaschen

 

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As the JOK Taster I’ve been cooking up a lot of yummy’ness lately – but this project, well it’s one that I think you’re really gonna enjoy. We’ve made a really fun and quick video to boost your hamantaschen inspiration. If you’ve been having a hard time getting into the baking mood take a minute and watch the video, really it’ll only take you a minute, ok 90 seconds to be exact :) but truly, its worth it. And if you’re already uber excited about spending some quality time in the kitchen for Purim this video will at least bring a smile to your face.


 

How To Decorate A Party Sweets Table *Giveaway*

 

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Every party or Purim Seudah needs a dessert table. The best way to decorate for your party is to invest in the sweets. Now you can create a designer worthy display with these simple tips and tricks.


 

Queen Esther Could Have Been Plant Based, Right?

 

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Who is to say whether or not the banquet Queen Esther planned for the King didn’t include some plant-based dishes? There is talk about her vegetarian stance in the palace and just maybe her switch to eating more fruits, vegetables, tubers, legumes, and whole grains impacted how she felt in her body and in the world.

Eating plant-based food might have


 

Expert Tips On Making Hamantashen

 

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Making hamatashen is a fun annual tradition! Whether it’s picking the fillings, deciding on if it will be savory or sweet or even figuring out what kind of drizzle is best, hamatashen are a big part of getting together and celebrating Purim. The only issue is that hamantashen can be very tricky to make. Sometimes the filling oozes out a bit too much or the dough won’t form or the hamantashen open up completely when baking and don’t look at all like Haman’s hat (or ears).  We asked around the kosher cooking world to find out what hamatashen experts do to make the perfect batch. Here are a few tips that will help you with your baking this year:

1. Alex Idov a.k.a The Kosherologist explains that it is very important to keep the hamenstashen dough refrigerated. Alex takes out a little at a time, so the dough will be easier to roll out and work with.


 

5 Unexpected Hamantaschen Flavors

 

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Raspberry, poppy seed and chocolate all make for great fillings for those addicting little hamantaschen we get to enjoy each Purim, only thing is those are the only flavors we seem to receive.  I’ve seen some pretty exciting flavors of hamantaschen popping up on instagram pages of kosher bloggers and thought I would join in on the out-of-the-box hamantaschen party.  Below are 5 fun and unexpected hamantaschen flavors.

 


 

Mishloach Manot in a Jar

 

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Mason jars make an incredible gift basket for a variety of edible goodies. You can buy them in bulk (www.amazon.com or your local home goods store) for a mishloach manot treat everyone will remember. You can fill mason jars with anything you can dream up, from  soup to pasta sauce to sweets. Make it extra special by dressing up the jar with ribbon and a fun homemade gift tag.

Here are 10 great ideas for mishloach manot in a jar:


 

Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles: 4 Variations

 

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Sweet and sophisticated chocolate truffles are simpler to make than you might think. Earn yourself a compliment at the Purim seudah, or package them in a simple gift box for an elegant and delightful Mishloach Manot. Just don’t forget to save a few of these goodies for yourself.

Classic Chocolate Truffles


 

My Philly Fave’s Mishloach Manot

 

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Philadelphia favorites are the theme of this Mishloach Manot, complete with a map of City Center, you won’t want to miss out on these great ideas.


 

Persian Cardamon Rice Cookies (“Naan-e...

 

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Persian Cardamon Rice Cookies (“Naan-e Berenji”) Posted 02/12/2015 by My Jerusalem Kitchen
Purim is a time when our reality is upside-down. For me, an upside-down reality is eating butter and sugar -- powdered sugar. Enjoying a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth rice cookie teeming with sweet cardamon notes is me in my "real" state. But since I can't live in my real state every day, 'lest risking cardiac arrest and impossible to keep up with bakery costs, why not do so on Purim? These cookies, commonly served for Purim and at weddings, are the perfect addition to your Purim feast, and I hope you enjoy them!

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10 Mishloach Manot (Shalach Manos) Ideas

 

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Purim is coming up in just a few short weeks which means there is plenty of time to plan and prep what you’ll give for mishloach (shalach) manot, which consists of two different ready-to-eat foods (or treats!). Of course, we’ll all be in the same position just a few days before, rushing to come up with a creative idea because, well, life happens and planning can fall by the wayside.  In anticipation of normal life, below are 10 practical and delicious ideas for mishloach manot.

 


 

Jewish Comfort Food: Chulent Re-Make

 

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Hubby is a shy guy.  Actually, let me restate: Hubby is not a spotlight/limelight kinda dude, more the behind-the-scenes type.  He calls himself the idea man.  And we all laugh about it.  Cause most things that I end up doing are his idea – like writing my first cookbook, making Aliyah and most everything in between.

But he is really really, really, really, funny.  Like crazy funny.  The kids always comment about how much we laugh together and how much fun we have.  We cook together, we clean together (although he would argue he does much of that on his own), we shop together, (except, again, when he is doing that all by his lonesome with a crazy long list from me) and we generally travel as a pair.


 

A Healthier Take on Jewish Classics

 

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There are only a few things more confusing than advice on healthful eating: Paleoists, vegans, carb cyclers, ketone diet adepts, fructarians, vegetarians, flexitarians, doctors, dietitians, trainers, scientists, celebrities, coaches, chefs–and the list keeps going– all state that they’ve found the perfect way to eat, but many of them give opposite recommendations. And then, if we were already confused, there’s kashrut…However, if you look closely, there’s something everyone–including kosher laws–agrees upon: plants are great for us, and they should be the core of our diets.

We don’t normally think of Jewish dietary laws being plant based, however, they do give us plenty of freedom when it comes to the plant world. They also promote moderation with products from the animal kingdom; restricting us on how to obtain, combine and eat them. We do obsess with meat and dairy, however, maybe our eyes should be on the plants, which are pretty much free for all (except for checking them for insects, which are not plants!).


 

Israeli Inspired Cookies for Tu B’Shevat

 

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I wanted to create a recipe that was at once inspired by the foods of Israel- fruit, seed and nuts for Tu B’Shvat. The connection to using fruit is so clear- of the four renewal holidays in Judaism, it is all about trees and the fruit they bear at it’s literal essence after all. But many Jewish dishes for this celebration also utilize the Biblical 7 species: wheat, barley, dates or honey, figs, pomegranates, olives and grapes or wine.  I wanted to focus on the contemporary Israel- widely multi-cultural, sophisticated and rich in local food traditions as well. My first thought: tahini. I can’t think of the Middle East, or mizrachi cuisine without it.

Heralded chef Yotam Ottolenghi, in his book Jerusalem with Sami Tamimi, has a great recipe for a tahini cookie – and I have made  it and enjoyed it. There are plenty of tahini cookie  recipes around – Bon Appetit’s Tahini Cookies; David Lebovitz’s Tahini and Almond CookiesMartha Stewart’s Tahini Cookies


 

How To Celebrate a Tu b’Shevat Seder

 

 

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Tu b’Shevat is one of these hidden minor holidays, which haven’t gotten much attention until the last few decades. It is kind of a New Age, cutting age type of holiday with no ‘don’ts’ and not even any specific must ‘dos.’ If you are looking for spiritual renewal through mystical teachings, meditational practice and conscious mindful eating, then Tu b’Shevat has much to offer.

On Tu b’Shevat, the sap in the tree begins to flow once again to revitalize the tree. The secret of Tu b’Shevat gently whispers; “when everything looks dead, dark and murky, life, light and glory is hiding just below the surface.” The time when nothing seems to be happening on the outside is the beginning of the richest inner life. Tu b’Shevat begins a period of renewal for the individual and the community. On Tu b’Shevat we can tune into the redemption of spring. Even though we may be experiencing the winter of exile in both personal and collective stage of our lives on the outside, a new life force begins to emerge within our souls on the inside.


 

Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate...

 

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Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze Posted 01/27/2015 by ToqueandScalpel
As we celebrate the Tu bishvat holiday this recipe came to mind. The components of this recipe bring together flavors that are the essence of holiday. The earthy distinctive savory flavor of the lamb combined with lemon and garlic. Which is then complemented by the sweetness of the pomegranate glaze. I have paired this with a Couscous of dates and toasted almonds. When you take one bite your mouth will crave more.

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